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The Best Dog or Cat for your Family

Photo Credit: Zack Cohn

Over 3 million shelter pets will be adopted in 2017, according to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA),  That doesn’t even include pets from private parties, pet stores or breeders.  Is your family ready for a pet?

Using key words “find the right pet” and you’ll discover several useful websites like, and  Ask questions at your nearby pet store about what might be the best family pet.  See what pets are available at Los Angeles area shelters.

Ask friends about the qualities they like and dislike about their pet.  They may love their collie but dislike that it has long hair and sheds all over their clothing, or they may enjoy their cuddly Siamese but it has clawed the sides of the fabric on the sofa.

You want a pet with a temperament that is appropriate for your family such as good with babies or little children such as a retriever or a basset hound.  A more aggressive breed may be desired if you want a watch dog, but be sure it will be kind to your children.  If your home or yard is relatively small, perhaps a smaller breed such as a terrier is best.

There are numerous ways to find a pet to adopt.  Perhaps you know someone locally via word of mouth who has a pet they can no longer care.  The pet store is another good place to begin the pet adoption process. 

Photo Credit: Aadip Desai

Shelters typically have a website that shows current available pets and details about their adoption process. Ask about neutering and spaying.  Some shelters will actually let you have the pets visit your home or even stay there a few nights to “test” if that specific pet is a good fit for your family.

If there’s a specific breed of pet that you desire, such as a greyhound dog, search online for rescue shelters for that particular breed, such as or

A pet can be a wonderful addition to your family and a great experience for children of all ages to learn the responsibility of caring for another living creature and for empathy and compassion. Be diligent in taking your time from when you first decide to adopt a pet.  It is a huge commitment and can become a rather unpleasant experience if you end up with the wrong pet such as a cat that scratches and bites or a dog that is aggressive. 

So take your time in every step of the pet adoption process.

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